Single-parent families

Single-parent families are more vulnerable to environmental hazards

Single-parent families with dependent children are more likely to live in poorer neighbourhoods and have fewer economic resources. Those with young (pre-school) children may also be more socially isolated [1, 2]. This can have an impact on how they cope with and respond to environmental hazards.

Just over 10 percent of households with dependent children are single-parent households

In 2013, 11.1 percent of all households were headed by a sole parent with dependent children (<18 years). This proportion had fallen from 13.0 percent in 2001.

Areas with the highest number of single-parent households were: Kawerau (23.1% of all households), Gisborne (18.9%), Opotiki (17.7%) and Auckland local boards Mangere-Otahuhu (17.9%), Manurewa (17.6%) and Papakura (17.6%) (Figure 1).

Figure 1

The number of families with dependent children is falling

Between 2001 and 2013 the percentage of New Zealand households with dependent children fell from 43.6 percent to 40.4 percent (Figure 2).

Areas with the highest percentage of families with dependent children in 2013 (both couples and sole parent) were: Gisborne (46.6%), Kauwerau (45.8%), Rotorua (45.3%), Porirua (45.2%) and Auckland local boards Manurewa (46.9%), Mangere-Otahuhu (46.6%) and Otara-Papatoetoe (46.5%.)

Figure 2


1. Social Science Research Needs: Focus on Vulnerable Populations, Forecasting and Warnings. . Phillips, B D and Morrow, B H. 2007, Natural Hazards Review, 8 (3), pp. 61-68.

2. Access to Disaster Services. Journal of Social Service Research , 27-54. Zakour, M. J., Harrell, G. S., & Harrell, E. B. 2008, Journal of Social Service Research, pp. 27-54.

3. Statistics New Zealand. StatsNZ. Family type by child dependency status, for families in occupied private dwellings, 2001, 2006, and 2013 Censuses (RC, TA, AU) . [Online] 06 15, 2018.